Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine revealed that more than two-thirds of college-aged women engaged in unprotected sex the last time they consumed alcohol. Despite wide public awareness that protection prevents the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, alcohol seems to lower inhibitions enough where a majority of women are making decisions they normally would not had they not consumed alcohol. Of course the fact that alcohol makes people do things they normally would not is not a new revelation. However, now that the study confirms that women are more at risk to contract sexually transmitted diseases and become pregnant, it appears that more education is necessary, for both sexes.
“Relative to older women, young women engage in an elevated rate of alcohol use and are at increased risk for adverse sexual health outcomes. Interventions that target beliefs around alcohol use, which could assist young women to increase condom usage, could show benefit in the reduction of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections, as well as unintended pregnancies,” explained Jennifer Brown, PhD, and lead author of the study.
In order for researchers to come to this conclusion they gathered data from 287 women, all college-aged. The participants completed confidential surveys related to alcohol use, alcohol-related behaviors and behaviors related to sex. It was determined that it much more common for women to engage in sexual activities without a condom when they are under the influence of alcohol. When asked to expand on this, the majority of women stated that physical desires and tendency to engage in riskier situations while under the influence of alcohol played major roles in their decision making.
Of course, males are not exempt from the need to increase alcohol education. In fact, researchers believe that males and females would benefit greatly from increased awareness of common mistakes made under the influence of alcohol. Researchers are especially concerned because this age group commonly engages in alcohol use and overuse.